Dear Esther Ready To Go For Early 2012

That really is a moon, you know.
Earlier in the year I lost my MP3 player with a bunch of untranscribed interviews on it. The most interesting of these recordings was an interview with Dan Pinchbeck, the games researcher who has turned to making games, starting with a remake of his Half-Life 2 mod, Dear Esther. The remake, which is being done with fabulous new art (above) in the Portal 2 engine, is apparently all but finished, and will appear in January or February next year. Hopefully, around that same time, I’ll be able to redo my interview with Dan and see what he’s learned from the process. Take a look through here for some more fantastic images of Pinchbeck’s spooky narrated explore ’em up.


  1. Loopy says:

    I was wondering what had happened to this, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it then.

  2. mjig says:

    Dear Esther was one of very, very few “Artsy” games that I really enjoyed. It was just so atmospheric, despite the hastily put together graphics. It was nice to try and figure out what was happening as you went through

    I assume that this still uses the same voice actor, right? Tat’s the most important bit.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It was one of the first artsy games I think I played. Since then I’ve enjoyed a few others, but especially The Stanley Parable. Which while arty, also takes the piss out of itself.

    • jamesom says:

      Yes Nigel Carrington is still the voice actor.

  3. Heliocentric says:

    Wow, that indie interview of an indie games developer is so obscure even the interviewer hasn’t heard it.

    • Magnetude says:

      If an interview about an indie game is conducted but no-one is around to hear it, can people still have tiresome arguments about whether the game qualifies as art?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I don’t think we touched on the games/art thing at all. It was more about what FPS games are capable of, why making games is an important experience in itself for understanding them, etc.

  4. Nero says:

    Really looking forward to seeing this remake in action.

  5. Dozer says:

    Are you perhaps looking for a freelance transcriber to work with the RPS writers Jim? To make the ‘untranscribed interview’ an anomaly of the past? And also providing off-site backup? I’ll make enquiries via my RPS mole…

  6. Shooop says:

    Hopefully they make it easier to navigate. I got completely lost in the original within 10 minutes.

    And it’s nice to see such a radical concept for a modern game being given this kind of attention. Far too much “playing it safe” these past few years.

  7. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Well it better do cuz I’m using it for my Dissertation. I could use the mod of course, but it’s a little bit broken in places and not very pretty.

  8. Mangle says:

    Awesome, I had wondered what had happened to this. I had feared it went the way of Black Mesa…

  9. magnetic says:

    This just looks and sounds great

    I’m gonna buy the shit out of this

  10. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I’ve been deliberately avoiding the mod and any subsequent media in order to enjoy this. To be honest, I don’t think there are any titles coming out that I’ve been anticipating more.

    • AlwaysRight says:

      Me too!

      Its becoming hard to avoid getting the mod, especially after reading some incredibly positive comments by Johnathan Blow about it.

      It’s a shame this story isn’t getting more comments. Maybe because there isnt enough to whinge about here.

  11. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Really looking forward to this. It won’t be my GOTY 2012, but it will be one of my most treasured games of 2012.

  12. cytokindness says:

    My main Esther memory:


    Let’s hope that he structures the narrative better to avoid players having to abuse the Source engine physics to get from place to place in any reasonable amount of time.

    • povu says:

      If you don’t want to have overlapping voice acting from jumping to the next trigger too quickly I don’t think there’s much they can do, other than maybe increasing both the walking speed and the world size.

      The world *is* bigger this time though, so maybe they increased the walking speed too if the distance between voice acting triggers is larger. Or they added more voice overs. :P

  13. CelticPixel says:

    I’m going to buy this with my Ghost Recon money!

  14. Gandaf007 says:

    I really hope we can send someone to that moon.

    • Electricleash says:

      ‘…That’s no moon….. it’s a space… station!’

  15. Drayk says:

    I have heard lots of good stuff about Dear Esther but never really understand what it is about, i got that it’s basicly a exploration/adventure game on an Island and it’s very atmospheric… I’ll try to stay in the dark till I got it.

  16. Prime says:

    Yeah. Black Mesa: Source will be out in 2012 too. December 20th.

  17. Electricleash says:

    I genuinely cannot wait for this, many of the screens I’ve seen remind me of home.
    Looks and sounds so beautiful!